Culture of Events and Sustainability

  • Project no.3301
  • Duration 06/2002 - 01/2006

The Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) supports the project "Culture of Events and Sustainability" within the framework of the research programme "Sustainable Economy/New Concepts of Product Use". Aim of the project is to establish a dialogue with companies and event managers about the opportunities offered by a sustainable development.
The close cooperation with special events management companies ensures that the results will be transmitted into action and that further model projects will be promoted.

Corporate image building, product-related advertising and introducing persons, ideas and visions to the public are phenomena which tend to occur increasingly within the framework of mises-en-scene having an emotional impact, defined as "special events". Special events are the expression of a changed communication culture in Germany: the event management sector, still a new phenomenon, undertakes the task of organising events and carrying them out.
When events take place, the public is addressed in a very special way. Special events and experiences become one thing. Cultures of special events are thereby created.

The project team, led by the Wuppertal Institute, aims at looking at the social phenomenon "special event" from an original perspective, based on the different sets of values that underlie the German society. Also, the project looks at the possible ways of bringing these values together: on the one hand, the role played by a culture of special events; on the other, responsibility for the future while trying to achieve sustainable development.
Two main questions define the framework of the communication and learning process of the project team:
- How can special events become more sustainable (in the way they affect people and in the way they affect the environment)?
- How can sustainable strategies become more eventful?

The empirical part of the project aims at finding out more about the role played by values and by dispositions and about the willingness to take sustainability goals into account when events are planned and carried out. A case study on marketing strategies in the mobility sector aims at finding out whether transport companies integrate into their communications strategies of "special events" and "sustainability", and whether these two themes are connected with each other.

The outcome will point out potential innovations, also taking into account possible conflictual goals and problem-solving strategies. In particular, emphasis will be put on:
a) The possibility of carrying out sustainable special events,
b) The possibility of promoting sustainability in a "special event"-oriented way.

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